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Trying to provide all necessary information about IMMUNITY and IMMUNE SYSTEM

Honey Bee|Sting apparatus of Honey Bee|Toxicity|Immunology

Posted by Mumtaz khan Friday, 27 January 2012


* Classification:-
Phylum-Arthropoda(paired appendages,exoskeleton)
Class-Insecta(3 pairs of legs present)
Genus-Apis(2 pairs of wings,free living).
Species-Indica(Indian bee)
             Mellifera(European bee)
             Florea(Little bee)
             Dorsata(African bee)
* Sting apparatus:
* In honey bee the ovipositors are modified to form sting and there exista a shaft or style which is penetrated into victim.
* The bulb squeezes out the poison produced by poison glands.
* There are two acid glands and an alkaline gland.The secretion of which
  are mixed in the poison saliva and then passed down into bulb.
* The sting in case of a worker bee shows presence of barbs that are absent in case of queen bee.
Hence,worker bee stings stings once in a lifetime after which it dies.
 * While queen bee can sting a number of times in its lifetime. 
* Venom: 
* Venom contains protein called mellilitin and enzymes like proteases,lipases and amylases.
* Mellilitin has antigenic properties having multiple antigenic sites sites.
* Hence it is very difficult to be consumed by macrophages.
* Because of presence of macrophages B and T Lymphocytes and also antibodies,the region where the sting is given swells up.
* If multiple stings are given by honey bees,the concentration of mellilitin is very high,person becomes unconscious.
* The toxic components include phospholipase,histamine,acetycholine,dopamine and serotonin.
* It also contains collagenase,hyluronidase etc.
* Effects:
* Ordinarily bee venom is not toxic and causes local pain and swellings.
* Allergic reaction comes when immune system is over senstitised to the venom and produces antibodies,causing release of histamines etc.
* Local reactions produce immediate pain,Edema,bleeding,vasodilation(sensation of warmth),Nausea.
* Generalized reactions produce,confluent red rash,shortness of breath,Edema in airway,tongue or uvula weakness,anxiety,confesion,chest pain.
* Sometimes internal clotting of blood takes plane in addition to hypertension.
* Tissue destruction or damage occurs with the sting.


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